Wrightbus, a leading bus manufacturer based out of Northern Ireland, has reportedly announced that it would be receiving over £11.2 million from the UK Government to develop and advance hydrogen fuel-based technology.
According to reports, Wrightbus is among three UK-based enterprises to be awarded this funding. The Government of UK believes that the £54 million package it has set aside for this initiative would secure more than 10,000 jobs in the country.
The Ballymena UK-based Wrightbus expanded its total workforce back in January in anticipation of the projected demand for the upcoming hydrogen-powered buses. Jo Bamford, Wrightbus Chairman, stated that the investment would be safeguarding and creating jobs.
As per Wrightbus, this taxpayer money would be utilized to develop and manufacture affordable hydrogen-based fuel cell technology to power buses at the company’s Ballymena site. Northern Ireland-based transport holding company, Translink has already placed orders for both low and zero emission vehicles at the manufacturer.
Bamford stated that an expansive center of excellence that focuses on zero-emission technology will be established in Ballymena as part of this initiative. Bamford added that this would safeguard over 1,000 skilled jobs while also allowing the company to create an additional 3,000 jobs over the forthcoming decade. This subsequently would give a substantial boost to Northern Ireland’s wider economy.
Confirming the investment, which was also awarded to other projects in Warwickshire, England, and Cwmbran, Wales, UK Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, stated that the government’s investment in novel technologies would help UK to effectively meet its ambitious climate goals.
Brandon Lewis, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, stated that the new investment is a much needed boost for the regional economy. Lewis added that Northern Ireland as well as its local economy greatly thrives on manufacturing, innovation, and technological advancements. This enables the region to lead the charge to allow the UK to reach its ambitious goal of attaining a net zero emissions future by 2050.